Sunday, June 1, 2008

Study Shows Antioxidants Protective Against Radiation

This past April a certain “study” was being circulated attempting to show that antioxidants were bad for your health! (Click here to read about the fraudulent design of this study.) The report, of course, ignored the hundreds of studies showing therapeutic benefit with antioxidants. 

For example, the April 2008 edition of Radiation Research featured an article showing antioxidants to be important against irradiation.   The purpose of this study was to determine whether a supplemental antioxidant blend of vitamin C, vitamin E succinate, alpha-lipoic acid, L-selenomethionine, and N-acetylcysteine could improve the survival of mice after total body irradiation. 

Results of the study indicate that the antioxidants given prior to or after a potentially lethal dose of X rays increased the 30-day survival rate of the mice. Pre-treatment of animals with antioxidants resulted in significantly higher total white blood cell and neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. Antioxidants were also effective in preventing peripheral lymphopenia (reduction in the number of lymphocytes circulating in the blood) after low-dose radiation. The antioxidant supplementation was also associated with increased bone marrow cell counts after irradiation, and with increased Bcl2 and decreased Bax, caspase9 and TGF-beta1 mRNA expression in the bone marrow after irradiation. Maintenance of the antioxidant diet was associated with improved recovery of the bone marrow after sub-lethal or potentially lethal irradiation. 

The researchers concluded that when taken together, oral supplementation with antioxidants appears to be an effective approach for radioprotection of hematopoietic (blood forming) cells and improvement of animal survival. Modulation of apoptosis is implicated as a mechanism for the radioprotection of the hematopoietic system by antioxidants.

In order to provide a powerful visual demonstration of the power of antioxidants, Dr. Kim Gerbers shared with me a demonstration she uses that I duplicated and would like to share here.

Dr. Kim will take her favorite Metagenics antioxidant product and place the tablets in water and let them dissolve alongside a slice of apple. Then she also takes another slice from the same apple and leaves it out to be exposed to the oxygen free radicals. By the end of 24 hours, the apple left to itself has browned considerably due to oxidation, but the one soaked in the antioxidant water is just as fresh-looking as when it was first cut.

I did the same thing at home the other day with apple and banana slices, and when I told my wife what I was doing, she said that lemon juice and pineapple juice do the same thing, and that’s why you use them in fruits salads in order to keep the bananas and apples from turning brown. Lo and behold, lemon juice and pineapple juice are packed with antioxidants.

Below are the pictures of my own version of Dr. Gerbers’ experiment. An easy product to use here would be Ceralin Forte, since the product is in capsule form and the contents can be dumped easily.  But any antioxidant formula such as PhytoMulti, Inflavanoid, etc, would work, since the Metagenics tablets will disintegrate thoroughly throughout the water. 

Note that I also immersed a third set of the apple and banana slices in plain RO water just to see if somehow the water itself is protective against the oxygen free radicals. It did make some difference, but the same browning effect still occurred to a slightly lesser degree, while the antioxidant set experienced no browning at all. Look at the difference!

Sample 1: Fruit soaked in plain RO water after 26 hours

Sample 2: Fruit exposed to open air after 26 hours

Sample 3: Fruit soaked in water and Ceralin Forte after 26 hours

So what does this mean for us?

We are exposed to oxygen free radicals every day, every minute of the day. Just breathing is exposing you to significant amounts of free radicals. And our exposure has gotten much worse compared to our ancestors because of the immense amount of foreign chemicals in our environment and in our food and water supply. Free radicals are slowly laying waste to our skin, our organs, our muscles and bone, and our overall health, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Free radicals are why people get old and feeble and eventually die. All of us are part of the ultimate statistic: 10 out of 10 die!

While stopping this process is impossible, we can at least slow the process down by fighting free radicals with antioxidants. And we may even be able to subvert chronic and degenerative illness altogether until that day it is our time to leave this earth, as with the Nobel Prize winning scientist and vitamin C guru, Dr. Linus Pauling, who lived well into his nineties and was remarkably active and mentally sharp until his surprising and seemingly untimely death...untimely only because he seemed so healthy when he died. Dr. Pauling, by the way, routinely took up to 10 grams per day of vitamin C. So it appears that the more antioxidants the better.

So eat your fruits and vegetables, and take lots of supplemental antioxidants to combat the unprecedented amount of free radicals with which mankind is now being exposed.